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A Little Something About Peer Review

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posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 10:51 AM
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This applies for 9/11 and primarily at debunkers who claim that various data and theory is inapplicable due to a lack of peer review and scholarship.

Peer review is a non-objective review of a scholar's paper, data, methodology, and conclusions that is submitted to multiple other scholars in the same discipline as the submitters in order to verify and authenticate the material contained.

As anthropologists can attest, the peer review does not ensure honesty and objective consideration of data and results. Often, peer review will reject cutting-edge material for a number of reasons, the most common of them being that they do not match what the reviewer has invested in his/her own research and conclusions.

For example, there is Proto-Indo-European, a theorized and well-developed proto-language that is not recorded but inferred through thousands and thousands of linguisitic research. Its commonly understood to be the root of most Romance, Germanic, and Sanskrit languages... but, if you push that theory that there are other proto-languages that share common relations, then the peer review becomes compromised with those who have invested in all their research and suddenly get shown that they 'missed the boat' with other data.

This is common among many disciplines. Consider V-twin technology - its advanced quite a bit (thanks to the image of Harley-Davidson) but no one invested in V-Twin development likes talking about how its inherently flawed.

Consider other disciplines - oil development - abiotic oil is a new trend in oil production and geologic theory, and its routinely quashed by pressure from green influences. Does it have merit? Who knows? But no one will find out without it being taken on its data and proving the data accurate or not.

So - to 9/11 theory. empirically, these building collapses were the first three due to fire with skyscraper technology. Hell, even the Empire State Building survived a crash with a plane (not the same size, but with minimal and no structural compromise).
The NIST data has been challenged. However, with federal grants and other pressures on many of the scholars involved, contradictory data and findings will be unfairly quashed under improperly rejected peer review. The scientists involved are ideologically compromised by their funding and support mechanisms.

I personally think that properly refereed peer review is important, but not the end-all be-all of scholarship that people think it is. There is obvious bias in much of the pool of likely reviewers. Anyone who does it would have to select scientists and figure out how to pay them to be honest and not lean toward the views of their sponsoring benefactors.




posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 11:13 AM
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As someone who is is in the scientific field, I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying.

Peer review was to keep fantasic claims without fantastic evidence at bay, while also weeding out garbage. Peer review was never meant to be an end all way of controlling news or evidence.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 11:18 AM
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I don't know how much you actually follow the 911 saga from your post so I am not sure if you will "be hip" to this next fact.

It is not possible to peer review the NIST report.

The data used in the report is not released and the computer program used to arrive at the dataset has not been released.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 11:59 AM
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So Jones' paper isn't peer reviewed?

You better not tell impressme that. He'll go tonto.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by MagoSA
I personally think that properly refereed peer review is important, but not the end-all be-all of scholarship that people think it is. There is obvious bias in much of the pool of likely reviewers. Anyone who does it would have to select scientists and figure out how to pay them to be honest and not lean toward the views of their sponsoring benefactors.


This is certainly true. However, to use a certain well known example, when someone with zero background in explosives or chemical analysis claims to have found thermite in the WTC dust but refuses to submit the samples he analyzed to others to verify his findings, particularly when it's been long known that he insisted explosives were involved long before he ever "discovered" them, the credibility of his findings is suspect. He isn't simply being picky about who he forwards his research samples to. He isn't giving anyone access to them AT ALL. *This* is the evidence we're supposed to send out lynch parties to investigate murder conspiracies over?!?

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" didn't work on Dorothy and it certainly isn't going to work on me.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 12:17 PM
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refuses to submit the samples he analyzed to others


He actually encouraged it.

So that negates your spiteful rant.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by jprophet420

refuses to submit the samples he analyzed to others


He actually encouraged it.

So that negates your spiteful rant.


All right, so who did he give his samples to?



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by jprophet420
 


Exactly, but the report is held up as God's word to the faithful (to coin a phrase) as the end-all be-all to the physics involved in 9/11.

I misspoke, and I'm glad you caught it. I did not mean to provide incorrect information. I intended to make the point that NIST data should be reviewed, and that, to be fair, 9/11 truth theories should be evaluated.

Thanks for pointing that out.



posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 07:47 PM
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As someone else who has spent some time exposed to mainstream science, I also wholeheartedly agree. There are so many political pressures on scientists (as one example you've probably heard the slogan "publish or perish" - in other words, do something, anything, even if it's meaningless and pointless, or you don't get the academic resources to do your work, with the predictable effect that the field gets flooded with pointless, uninteresting, and useless experiments) that they can hardly be described as impartial.

Of course, I am of the opinion that impartiality is an ideal that no mortal is capable of reaching, but that's another thread.

That's not to say that peer-reviewed science is bunk. Quite the contrary, peer review is a somewhat decent indicator that a work is worth taking seriously. But if you're really interested in discovering the truth, you'll suffer through reading the paper, especially the methodology of the experiment. I've read many scientific papers where when I read the part on methodology I was like "Um, really? And this was published?" I find often they just don't control for nearly enough possible factors. But maybe I'm just one of those crazy types who comes up with all sorts of silly factors that could maybe pollute an experiment once in a million years.

But more importantly, more off-the-wall stuff will probably never pass peer review at first. But this is the stuff that starts scientific revolutions. Every would-be scientific revolutionary risks complete ridicule.

Anyway, I ran quickly from my Ph.D. program and started private sector work when I realized how political the scientific community in my field at my school had gotten. At least I yoinked a Masters degree on the way out.




[edit on 25-8-2010 by NewlyAwakened]



posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by GoodOlDave

Originally posted by jprophet420

refuses to submit the samples he analyzed to others


He actually encouraged it.

So that negates your spiteful rant.


All right, so who did he give his samples to?


He used his samples and gave a list of samples whose chain of custody were believed to be intact. It was posted here in this forum many times.



posted on Aug, 26 2010 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by jprophet420
 

I was under the impression that only a French truther (can't remember his name off hand) had recieved any samples, and he claimed not to have found anything of the sort Jones et al claims to have found. I'll see if I can dig it up.

Jones also claimed to have submitted samples to neutral laboratories, but he has never posted their findings as of yet.



posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 07:53 AM
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I have believed for a long time that "peer review", like "tenure" for university professors is a double edged sword. I'm sure it has cut both ways numerous times.

Michael Cremo's whole career is about demonstrating the systematic exclusion of anomalous archeological evidence by the peer review process.

Recently on Coast to Coast AM, George Noory had an interview with Robert Bauval, who first noticed a possible relationship between the layout of the pyramids at Giza and the visual appearance of the stars in the "Belt of Orion". Bauval has now been joined in research by a legitimate academic astrophysicist, who is sympathetic to the plight of people like Bauval, who have run into a lot of resistance in the academic community to their new theories.

The astrophysicist made the very good point that this resistance, often expressed through the peer review process, is also encountered by researchers operating within the straight academic paradigm and is a source of frustration to many of them, though their feelings are not expressed in such a public way, as is often the case, by Bauval, Graham Hancock or John Anthony West.

Tenure is another problem in the academic world. It is advertised as a way to ensure academic freedom, but in fact, because of the years required to be eligible for it, actually serves as a way of filtering out academics who are likely to make waves of any sort in a given academic discipline.

That's not saying that tenured professors can't be brilliant thinkers and innovative, but rather, that tenure can serve political agendas, if they exist and if someone wants to use it as a weapon.


[edit on 27-8-2010 by ipsedixit]



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